Jesus Barraza has been appointed Academic Support and Bar-Related Programs Fellow and Adjunct Associate Professor of Law at Southwestern Law School. He brings valuable curriculum development and teaching experience to the new post and will work closely with Professor Gabriela Ryan, Director of Academic Support and Bar-Related Programs, in the creation, administration and implementation of new workshops, the supervision of student tutors and the development of the academic support and bar-related course curriculum.
"Professor Barraza will be a tremendous asset to our program as our inaugural Academic Support Fellow," Professor Ryan said. "He played an important role in the development of UCLA's very strong Academic Support Program, and we look forward to having him share his advice and perspective with our students and provide assistance in the creation and implementation of new and exciting programs at Southwestern."
While a law student at UCLA, Professor Barraza served as the Chief Managing Editor of the Chicano/Latino Law Review, where he trained a staff of 15 Articles Editors to conduct legal research and edit scholarly work. He was also a Managing Editor of the Dukeminier Awards Journal, the first legal journal to focus specifically on sexual orientation and gender identity law.
Professor Barraza also focused on developing his teaching skills to meet the needs of diverse students. He served as an Academic Support Tutor for the law school, where he developed the curriculum for a study skills and exam preparedness course, presented seminars on time and study management and led strategic exam preparation workshops. He was selected as a Teaching Associate for the UCLA LGBT Studies Department, where he lectured on critical race theory and sexual orientation law. In his last year of law school, he served as a Street Law Instructor teaching everyday legal issues to students at a South L.A. high school. Additionally, he was Outreach Chair of the People of Color Law School Admissions Workshop, where he assisted non-traditional pre-law students with the challenge of successfully applying to law schools.
A member of the California State Bar, Professor Barraza went on to serve for several years as a Research Associate for the UCLA Center for Minority Health Disparities, where he analyzed laws and public policies involving the graduate and Post-Doctoral training of minority physicians and allied health professionals. As a researcher, he enjoys reminding students that the J.D. is a doctorate degree by challenging them to pursue legal scholarship and encouraging them to take an active role in the development of their legal education.
"As the first lawyer in my family, not only am I passionate about increasing the accessibility of legal education through Academic Support, I also possess a sense of obligation for doing so," Professor Barraza said. "I am honored to serve as Southwestern's inaugural Academic Support Fellow. The fellowship is a testament to the law school's commitment to accommodating the diverse needs of its students, and ensuring that the next cadre of lawyers is reflective of the communities we serve."
Professor Barraza earned both his B.A. in Psychology and Sociology in 2004 and his J.D. degree in 2009 at UCLA. Before entering law school, he worked as a Policy Advocate in Washington, D.C., and was a Kaiser Family Foundation Health Policy Fellow in Congresswoman Hilda Solis' office.
The Academic Support and Bar-Related Programs Fellowship was established at Southwestern to provide a unique opportunity for a young lawyer or recent law school graduate to gain experience in administration, counseling and teaching while expanding individualized and group academic support and bar preparation programs for Southwestern students.